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National

January 6, 2015

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KP PA demands LG polls, judiciary’s extension to Fata

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday demanded the conduct of local government ( LG) elections and extension of superior judiciary’s jurisdiction to the marginalised Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
The House adopted a unanimous resolution that called on the provincial government to take up the issue of superior judiciary’s extension to Fata with the federal government. It deplored that the tribal people had been deprived even of their basic rights enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.
“The extension of superior judiciary’s jurisdiction will make sure the basic requirements for justice are met,” said the resolution, presented jointly by members of the opposition and treasury benches.
The demand for the extension of the superior judiciary to Fata was made at a time when its authority is being curtailed by the proposed military courts in the settled areas of Pakistan.Another main demand in the resolution was the holding of the local government elections in the troubled Fata, where militant activities and military operations have disrupted normal life.
It appeared strange that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that has been delaying the local government elections on one or the other pretext in the province demanded such polls in the underdeveloped and violence-hit Fata.
The resolution said Fata lacked proper infrastructure that had been causing problems to people and demanded construction of hospitals, medical college, engineering college, a cadet college and university for women.
Fata has no university, even for men.The provincial assembly suggested all these measures as a step towards mainstreaming of the region to create an environment that discourages terrorism.
“Terrorism has increased tribesmen’s problems manifold and they have left homes several times,” the resolution said. “They have proved they are true and patriotic citizens of Pakistan by accepting government’s directives to live in camps,” it

said.
The resolution acknowledged tribesmen’s sacrifices for Pakistan. It said they had been ‘unpaid protectors’ of the western border of the country and had always cooperated with the government.
“Terrorism cannot be eliminated from Fata without giving them basic facilities of life,” said Awami National Party’s Jafar Shah, who was one of the movers.The resolution was passed without discussion. Three lawmakers read the resolution. They included Law Minister Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), from the treasury benches and Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Aurangzeb Nalotha and Awami National Party’s Jafar Shah from the opposition benches.It was promptly adopted unanimously.
“Though our party, the Qaumi Watan Party, agrees with what was demanded in the resolution, I feel it should have been debated in the House,” said Sultan Muhammad Khan. “A debate would have given opportunity to lawmakers to make some more valuable suggestions for Fata,” he added.
On another important issue relating to stopping work on gas pipeline to Faisalabad from Karak, the House evolved consensus and decided to bring a joint resolution.
Malik Qasim Khan Khattak, adviser to the chief minister on prisons, raised the issue of ‘unconstitutional’ gas pipeline from his native Karak to Punjab’s Faisalabad.
“A 24-inch pipeline is being laid from Karak to Faisalabad, which is unconstitutional, and should be stopped immediately,” he demanded. “We face gas loadshedding in Karak where we produce it but without meeting our requirement it is being supplied to far-off Faisalabad,” he argued.
Amjad Afridi, also adviser to the chief minister who hails from Kohat, seconded his colleague and said the pipeline would supply direct gas to Faisalabad.Speaker Asad Qaiser, who chaired the meeting, said it was an important issue and consensus should be evolved to move a joint resolution. “The gas requirement of this province should be fulfilled first and then it may be supplied to other areas of Pakistan,” he said.

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